Thodex exchange founder Faruk Fatih Ozer, who fled Turkey to Albania the day before the crypto platform stopped operating in 2021. Now claims to have traveled to meet with investors
The founder of the now defunct Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex, Faruk Fatih Ozer. Who is accused of embezzling millions of dollars from customer funds, said at a court hearing on July 13. That he is not guilty of fraud. On the contrary, according to Ozer, “he was set up,” reports the Turkish publication Sabah.
Thodex is a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2017. In April 2021, its founder Ozer suddenly left the country. And the platform ceased operations. More than 2,000 Thodex customers sued it, alleging fraud and theft of millions of dollars.
The indictment said total losses due to the exchange’s collapse amounted to 356 million Turkish liras ($24 million). As reported by the Turkish news agency DHA, Ozer fled Turkey with about $2 billion worth of customers’ cryptocurrency.
During the investigation, Turkish law enforcement authorities detained 21 people. Also including Ozer’s brother and sister. Employees of the crypto exchange accused of fraud faced prison terms of up to 40,500 years each.
Ozer himself was detained in Albania in August 2022 and extradited to Turkey.
On June 13, he appeared in court, where he said the media allegations and court charges were unfounded and he had not deceived anyone.
“This situation puts a heavy burden on me. The allegations in the media and the indictment are unfounded. I didn’t deceive anyone, I was set up,” Ozer said.
He also said his sister and brother had been illegally imprisoned. Ozer said he was the only one at Thodex who had the right to make decisions.
The defendant also pointed out that the user agreement spelled out. That he was not liable in the event of any damage. And his platform customers were aware of this.
Ozer said he left Turkey to negotiate with investors because he wanted to sell Thodex after losses of 16 million Turkish liras ($677,000) incurred as a result of the hacks of the exchange.
He said he talked to investors – one in Italy and one in the Balkans. But because he was “hampered by panic requests” from exchange customers to buy and sell cryptoassets. So he decided to temporarily freeze the work of the site and put an article on the site about the maintenance of the service.
Our experts note that as a result of the proceedings, the court ruled to cancel the judicial review measures for seven detainees. As well as to continue the detention of the remaining defendants in custody. And to refer the case to the prosecutor of the Republic of Turkey.
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